With their debut album If It Carries On Like This We’re Moving to Morecombe, London post-rock quartet The Fierce & The Dead left an indelible impression at Webcuts HQ. It was an album that defied categorisation and challenged perceptions of the post-rock genre, not only from the exceptionally long-winded and unselfconscious title, but in the way it fused elements of post-rock with hardcore, ambient soundscapes and jazz/funk experimentation. It was as if The Fierce & The Dead wanted to sound like all bands, and none.
In theory If It Carries On Like This… should document the sound of confusion, of a band of schizophrenics crafting warped instrumentals, uncertain of who they are and where they’re going. In truth, it’s deeply grounded in the realm of melodic experimentation and intuitive songwriting that gets levelled at supposed innovative over-achievers like Radiohead. You could say ‘don’t believe the hype’, but where The Fierce & The Dead are concerned, there is no hype. Except perhaps here and a handful other blog-type outposts that have fallen under their spell. For a band to have quietly released this enigmatic gem, certains questions remain, least of all — just who the hell are The Fierce & The Dead?
Who are you?
We are the Fierce And The Dead. We’ve been together for a couple of years although me, Stuart Marshall and Kev Feazey have played with together off and on for some time. We now have another guitar player called Steve Cleaton who is an old friend. I’d had the band name for a few years and I was looking for a project with that name.
What do you sound like?
Some people say post rock or progressive rock or indie rock. I think there is a lot of ground covered from ambient to hardcore punk so its hard to define.
What do friends say you sound like?
We get King Crimson, The Fall, Radiohead, Explosions In The Sky. I think there are lots of different elements and we have no intention of making the same record twice. We want to keep trying new things and take risks.
How did the band get started?
We were trying out some stuff in a rehearsal room for my solo album Ghost and we wrote a song so we became a band. It felt really natural and easy.
What are your five band-defining albums?
King Crimson – Red
Husker Du – Zen Arcade
Black Flag – Damaged
DJ Shadow – Entroducing
Draw – Battery Sessions
Current band highlight/lowlight/amusing anecdote?
During the making of the album we lost one of our best friends – Dan Wilson. A huge influence on our lives and therefore on our music. Our album is dedicated to him.
Tell us about the last song you wrote?
The last one is about the riots currently happening in London outside our doors, it has an early eighties hardcore/Dead Kennedys type sound. It would be hard to imagine writing about anything else at the moment. The world is changing really fast.
Who would be some dream collaborators?
Perhaps Bob Mould, and if you’ve not read his book you really should. Some great vocalists maybe so Mike Patton, Jello Biafra, Diamanda Galas or David Byrne.
You’re making us a The Fierce And The Dead mixtape. What’s going on it?
Husker Du, King Crimson, Bobby Conn, Draw, Napalm Death, Wilco, Black Flag, Mogwai, Zoe Keating, Can and DJ Shadow.
First time listeners, where should they start?
Our debut album – track “10×10” probably, that was our single and its a decent representation of what we do. Don’t listen to our first EP is one long 19 minute track. We’re still proud of it but not the ideal first listen!